I had to share this awesomeness by fellow EO member Khalifa Al Misnad.
THIS is Kite surfing; Qatari Style.
I had to share this awesomeness by fellow EO member Khalifa Al Misnad.
THIS is Kite surfing; Qatari Style.
This is a repost from last year’s blog with some updates.
Qatar is building on the number of events to celebrate National Day year on year. There are a number of huge milestones and events that have lead up to this as well. Qatar’s definitely in the spotlight thanks to mega event after event (World Cup, COP18, Arab Spring involvement, Katara expansions, etc… etc…) and Doha will continue to shine bright as long as changes keep happening.
Why are Qataris so proud? Well we haven’t had that much to be proud of for a long time. Our Emir has brought so much change and development to Qatar that it’s something to almost brag about. A typical Qatari will gladly sacrifice a lot for his country. The Emir has done so much to make our lives better, so why don’t we lift the burden off of his shoulders a bit and try to help?
So whether you’re Qatari, American, British, Indian, Philipino, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Pakistani, Chinese or any other nationality (let’s face it, Qatar is a melting pot of diversity), please celebrate National Day with us! Let happiness flow through you like a rush of energy. Think positive and have hope for a fantastic future. Think of each firework that goes off on December 18 as the sound of the country’s heartbeat. WE are Qatar.
One common question I’m asked is how is it that Qatar changed National Day’s date? It never changed. They’re thinking of Independence day, which is on the 3rd of September. Here’s some more info about National Day (from QatarNationalDay.qa):
On 18 December 1878, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeded his father as the ruler of Qatar. With that, Qatar became a country with a vision… a country that would find unity, grow rapidly, and reach toward ever higher heights.
National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of the State of Qatar. And yet this holiday is a mere two years old: it was founded in 2007 to give people an occasion to honour the history and identity of their country, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make Qatar a great nation.
The 18th of December is a special day – a day of unity for the people of Qatar. We want you to be a part of it!
Of course don’t forget to check out www.qatarnationalday.qa for all events and great content.
Interested in sponsoring iLoveQatar.net or particular activities? Drop the team an email at email@example.com
I thought I’d share three clips added to the ILQ YouTube channel.
iLoveQatar.net helped put together Qatar’s first ever comedy marathon and the crowd loved Qatari standup comedian Moh’d Fahad Kamal’s routines
I Cancel your Visa
No Speak English
For the past three years (well this is the third year) we’ve put together a very special National Day event site. It started in the end of 2008 (when we officially started working on iLoveQatar) and then we got the support from Vodafone to turn the experience into something prettier. I didn’t want to simply give people an events listing page and figured that with all the traffic going to the site (last year we had around 20,000 unique visitors in around 10 days) we should be doing something helpful!
So we started promoting Qatari talent. In 2009 we promoted Rayana, an amazingly talented singer. A small girl with a big voice. In 2010 we promoted Moh’d Kamal, Qatar’s first Qatari stand up comedian. This year we’re promoting a bunch of Qatari cartoonists, each with their own style! So far we’ve got @fatoomworld @wse7en @iba7r and @mana_qtr . Many of them contribute to www.qartoon.org
So if you’re looking for some quick info on what National Day is all about, a great events guide, and want to check out some great Qatari talent, then check out www.qatarnationalday.qa (yep we’ll be using that domain from now on so bookmark it!). Oh and guess what? You’ve got a chance to also win 10,000 QR from Vodafone! Head on over to the National Day and click on the competition tab to find out more
Mr. Q! You’re rich now! When are you getting that Ferrari?
First of all no I’m not. Second of all, it’s a Porsche -_- On a serious note NOT all Qataris got the salary increase!
So who does the salary increase apply to?
It’s not really black and white. It was initially given to government employees. That meant that those in the private sector weren’t part of the salary increase. However since the annoucement, a lot of companies in the private sector have followed suit. 1) It does make them look good to follow an Emiri Decree and 2) Some didn’t really have a choice (mostly the larger private entities).
Ok tell us, how much did Qataris in the government get?
For state civilian employees they got a 60% increase on their basic salary and social allowance
For Military personnel it’s a 50% increase on their basic and social allowance
For Military personnel of an officer rank, they get a 120% increase on their basic and social allowance.
Nice huh? Makes you want to think about joining the army.
No seriously, how much did Qataris REALLY get?
It’s no joke. Don’t believe me? Check out Emiri decision No. 50 of 2011.
So that’s over DOUBLE their salary!
Wrong! It’s 60% of BASIC and SOCIAL. Let’s say your salary is 10k. Your basic is 4k. Your social is 1k. Your remainder salary is made up of housing, transportation, etc… In this case you get 60% of 5k. That’s 3k or a 30% pay increase overall. Of course this is just an example
Anything else you want to mention?
It’s not just salaries. Government employees also get their pensions to go up by 60% and Military by 50% or 120% depending on their rank.
Why did they do this… It doesn’t make sense!
A lot of things don’t make sense in this world, but there’s actually a good reason for all of this! First of all, lets start from the beginning. Government employees actually had their salaries ‘balanced’ two years ago to comply with their new grading scheme. For some people it was great, for others… it made life really tough. If you were a junior staff at 15k, you could have been dropped to as low as 7k per month. That’s a 50% decrease. Some people’s salaries went up though but only by a small margin. So if you look at the 60% pay increase, they’re probably back to where they were. Of course I’m talking about the people who were affected negatively. To be honest, many people especially in the Military were known to have received extremely low salaries and they definitely did deserve more.
How much is this going to cost the government then?
A cool 10 billion riyals a year (that doesn’t include the extra 10 billion given to the pensions fund and 10 billion to the retirees’ subscriptions.
How do you feel about this Mr. Q?
You want to know? Well I’ve got mixed emotions to be honest.
Now here are my thoughts from a number of different angles…
As a citizen, it’s great to know that the government is there to take care of it’s people. It’s nice to feel that my country care about government officials so much. I do think that it would have been great to have spent 10billion riyals on training government workers so that they could work much more effectively though (just thinking about my own experience with simple processes here). The cost of living has definitely increased significantly in the passed few years. Building a house is near impossible and a decent price anymore.
However as someone who works in the private sector,I’m left thinking, “What about me?”. I studied hard. I went to university to get my degree. I came back and worked in the private sector. I proved that I was a hard worker, dedicated, and was set to prove that Qataris are ready to make a difference in the world. So why aren’t I being rewarded as well? In fact, are we giving the wrong message to the new generation? Come and get a cushy government job. Aren’t we trying to build a knowledge based economy? One that will encourage start ups, Qatari entrepreneurs, and see a growth in SMEs? Why would a youngster create his own businesses now when he can get a great salary working in a government job? Despite all of that, I’m still left thinking “what about me?”.
As someone who cares about the economy, a couple of days after the announcement, shops didn’t waste their time. I received BBM notifications constantly about the different shops that raised their prices. The government had already threatened companies with fines if they raised their prices and also set up a hotline for people to report it, but that didn’t stop many. Car washes raised their prices, restaurants raised their prices, cold stores raised their prices, everybody was doing it! Some people said, “It’s only a couple of riyals”, no it’s not! It all ads up! This my dear friends is what causes INFLATION. Many Qataris started to complain about this; online forums, BBM, and the newspapers published article after article of examples in price rises. Well if the people who got the pay rise are complaining, what about the Qataris or the exapts that didn’t get the pay rise?
What I don’t understand is why didn’t the just give government employees a pay rise quietly? Alright it might have been difficult to contain that one, but what about Kuwait’s solution? They got rid of Kuwaiti’s debts (up to a certain amount). I’m pretty sure that would have helped out more, and would have been fairer on all of us.
From the point of view of a private business owner, there are LOADS of problems here; Qatarization was hard enough! Now companies have to compete with the government too! I don’t really want to think about this one…. Let’s start with listed companies, they have a duty and a responsibility to share-holders. If a private company increases Qataris salaries, that dips into the shareholders pockets. It would be fair to say that it would be in the companies best interest NOT to hire Qataris to reduce cost (that can’t happen though since Qatarization is not an option). I’ll give you a really simple example. You own a business that sells Land Cruisers (had to slip that one in. Heh.). Everything’s going well, but now you have to cut into your own profits to increase your employees salaries. They’re not really doing any more work than they signed up for. Inflation is only up by 10% but you have to give them 60% increase. Now the funny thing is, you understand where I’m going with here, but I’ll bet you still want to be that person with the 60% pay increase. Am I right? Don’t worry, it’s human nature.
Point of view of the expat, “That’s not fair, what about us? We work harder than Qataris! We deserve more too!”, the people scream on one particular forum that shall not be named. You know what I say to them? Don’t like it? Tough! I’m sorry but it really gets my blood boiling. I feel like Qatar is the only country in the world where some expats (Most of the ones I personally know are awesome btw!) discriminate against the locals! They come to Qatar, live quite a comfortable life, more comfortable than back where they live, their governments probably tax the hell out of them, and then they complain that they deserve more. Think about this logically, wherever you are from and imagine that a foreigner comes to your country and feels entitled to more; not the same (I believe in equality), but more than the locals…
I’m sorry but shouldn’t you be demanding more from your own country? Looks to me that we’re in a new age where the new saying is “Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you.” and not the other way around.
So what should those who got the pay rise do now? Splurge? Obviously not. The best thing would be for them to invest their new income in something that will give them a safe future. I don’t know put it in a savings account, invest in stocks, start your own little business, SOMETHING, that doesn’t encourage un-necessary inflation please!
I’ll end this quick piece with with what one of my favourite users on ILQ said (TimeBandit), and I think it sums it all up nicely.
“Hey I don’t pay tax, so I don’t care what the government does with its money. I just want a job, on commission, working for a car dealership ASAP.”
You might also be interested in:
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve got a soft-spot for Bahrain and Bahrainis. I love the country. I love how progressive many people are and that it’s such a tolerant country. I loved it when I saw this cruiser driving around Qatar, Qatar hearts Bahrain. I even wrote a blog post explaining how I actually envy Bahrainis; see I envy Bahrainis
I’ve been sadened by how some people are trying to turn the current situation into Sunnis vs Shias. Some people tried to turn this into a hate war and even tried to turn this into a joke with cruel humor about why Saudi is getting involved (Jokes going around IN Bahrain!) *sighs*. It should really be a focus on Bahrainis all wanting to live a better life. I stumbled across this which sums it up better than a boring old long blog post of mine could ever put it.
DJ Outlaw put together this song which is amazing. The singers are Flipp, May Al Qasim, Mohammed Janahi, Rashid Hanthal, and Hamad Al Fardan. Yep there’s a Janahi and an Al Fardan contributing to this.
I thought I’d make a list of tweeters to follow. Now this list is based on people’s tweets that I enjoy reading and I find useful. It’s important to follow people that you enjoy following and dont spam your feed with either garbage or repeat posts. I’m going to go ahead and divide them by category too.
@expatcookie – Fun tweeter
@sknox40 – Fun tweeter
@qatarvisitor – Posts some great articles.
@qatarnews - A news aggregator that collects news from many different sources on everything related to Qatar. Including The Pen, GT, Arabian Business, BBC, etc…
@dohanews – Not only does Dohanews post Qatar related news, but I enjoy reading interesting chit chat and its not all Press releases!
@peninsulaqatar – The Peninsula Newspaper’s twiter
@qatarevents – Your daily fix on events happening in Qatar
@qatarhappening - Qatar Happening magazine’s twitter feed. They cover a lot of dining events.
@hndqtr – Qatar’s first female Comedian
@nazqatar – Just enjoy reading his tweets from time to time
@osamaalassiry – A fellow Qatari geek
@iloveqatar – that’s me!
@nawafalthani – Always finding out some cool Qatar news from this guy
@roosnamla – A Qatari sports nut. He knows where the best sporting spots are
@ahmedalbaker – A Qatari movie producer that’s working on Qatar’s first 3D movie!
@dohafilm – The Doha Film Institute’s twitter channel. DFI is the company responsible for the Tribeca Film Festival too.
@greatdohafind – The idea is that this person tweets ‘gems’ that he finds around Qatar.
Sorry if I’ve left you out. This is off the top of my head right now.
Want to get on the list? Leave a message in the comment section below!
Oh no he di’int. (Think of a woman named Laquisha saying that). I decided that since people seem to be under the impression that Qatari’s have a magical iPhone application that enables us to deport people with the touch of a button, then I might as well create a list of people that I wish I really could deport.
1) The guy in the right lane who decides to not just turn left at a round about, but also attempt a U-Turn. You know who you are Mr. crappy pick up truck or busted up Honda Civic.
2) The guy who says ‘next week’. You know the guy. He works in a small store, and when you walk in and ask if he’s got something, he says ‘Next week’, when he KNOWS he’s not getting them in next week. He just wants you to come by the store again. That’s like the equivelant of night clubs in the UK that build up a cue outside, even though nobody is inside!
3) Crappy customer care agents. Who promise to call you back soon and don’t. No I don’t mean they don’t call back soon. They never call back…. Never.
4) That guy who stares so hard that he either might have constipation OR thinks he’s superman and is trying to shoot lazer beams out of his eyes. Yeah Yeah, we live in a society where there is a 3/1 ratio of men to women, but common!! These dudes don’t just stare down women, they stare down everyone! I feel naked when they look at me
5) All those people who never smile or say thank you when you hold the door open for them. Although it was my life long dream to be a door opener, I never graduated from door opening school, so I never got the job… I open doors for free now. Well maybe not for free payment is a smile or thanks!
6) Lazy Traffic police. I think they didn’t get the memo. Traffic police aren’t supposed to CAUSE traffic. Why is that there’s always a super build up of traffic at a round about?
7) Roundabouts. While I’m dreaming. Let’s deport roundabouts. Bring over underpasses and bridges to keep traffic FLOWING.
8) Both insensitive and sensitive people when it comes to religion. Can’t handle people wearing a bikini at a beach? Don’t go to that beach. Think it’s funny that some people cover up a lot when they go to the beach? Then… *sighs*….
9) Guys with pointy shoes. You definately know who I’m talking about. They usually wear tight shirts, have greasy hair, and pointy shoes. Looking like you came straight out of Saturday Night Fever is NOT going to come back into fashion! Women like men that are clean and look fresh. Plus you might poke someone’s eye out with those shoes!
So who do YOU think should be deported?
Let’s use a visual. Imagine you’re a person who’s decided to go bungie jumping. You stand on the edge of a bridge. Your heart is racing; it actually almost feels like it’s going to burst out of your chest until you finally take that jump. Serenity. After the first few seconds after that leap everything is quiet. You hear the wind going past your ears and for a moment, you start to think “this kind of feels nice, I wish I could keep falli-” YANK, the cord’s extended and your finally shocked back (somewhat unpleasantly) into reality.
That’s what Apple did here. iPad, OMG WTF BBQ!!!11!ONE!! Some people shouted. Looking around twitter I saw that people were more concerned with the fact that they thought it was funny it was named after a tampon. I’m sorry… what?? Notepad wasn’t funny… rappers say “Pen and a Pad”… it’s only one letter different from iPod! (ok that sounds like a G.W. Bush argument).
Point is, to me, it’s near perfect for my needs. Why? I want something thin, light, and can do the basics. I love the fact that it’ll make my life so much more easier when it comes to management. Have you seen the email client? It’s amazing! I’m working all the time and I’d love to have a device which I could pick up, throw in a breifcase or backpack and just use
The biggest scream seems to be that people aren’t happy that there is no flash support. Who cares about flash! Even YouTube is moving over to HTML5 which is much efficient. Have you heard your fan speed up whenever a flash video is playing?
There’s just so much potential to this device. It could be used as a great DJing app, a simulator, store management device, home control unit, a project management app, and so much more. I think it’s more exciting to see what the developers are going to be bringing to this device. Having said that, THAT is what makes this a great device. It’ll always be updated.
I think it’s fair to say that the iPad is useful for people who know what they’re looking for.
What I’m trying to come to is that the iPad isn’t this one great fantastic device that does everything amazingly. It’s a device that does just simplifies necessities. It’s got to have at least ONE thing that’s useful to you and the rest are bonuses
What I hate:
On a side note, is it an oleophobic screen like the 3GS? I hope it will be so I can wipe off fingerprints easily.
Final question? When will the iPad arrive in Qatar? (it’ll take 2 months for the wifi version and 3 months for the 3G enabled in the US, I’m sure we’ll see imports but 3 months is enough to make me lose the excitement )
Update: So you’re looking for an iPad in Qatar? I helped set up http://www.shipmypad.com ! So go ahead and grab yours now for 1,500-2000 QR CHEAPER than the rest.